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Summary

From the bestselling author of Where the Lost Wander and What the Wind Knows comes the evocative story of two people whose paths collide against the backdrop of mystery, murder, and the Great Depression.

Chicago, 1923: Ten-year-old Dani Flanagan returns home to find police swarming the house, her parents dead. Michael Malone, the young patrolman assigned to the case, discovers there’s more to the situation—and to Dani Flanagan herself—than the authorities care to explore. Malone is told to shut his mouth, and Dani is sent away to live with her spinster aunts in Cleveland.

Fifteen years later, Michael Malone is summoned to Cleveland to investigate a series of murders that have everyone stumped, including his friend and famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, now Cleveland’s director of safety. There, in a city caught in the grip of a serial killer, Dani and Malone cross paths once again.

Malone is drawn to Dani and her affinity for the dead and compassion for the destitute. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that she could help him solve his case. As terror descends on the city and Malone and Dani confront the dark secrets that draw them together, it’s a race to find the killer or risk becoming his next victims.

©2022 Amy Harmon (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

“…a satisfying undercurrent of hope and the promise of fulfillment.”—Historical Novel Society

“An excellent story—well-written, wonderfully crafted, brilliantly imagined.”—April White, author of The Immortal Descendants series 

“Amy Harmon’s stories always feel like they’ve been written just for me, like she’s glimpsed a piece of my own heart and written about it in a way that exposes me to myself.”—Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author 

What listeners say about The Unknown Beloved

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Great Narration

The storyline was utterly boring The only saving grace was Rob Shapiro The fact l finished it was only due to the narration

1 person found this helpful

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Superb story

A magical tale of love in all its forms. Unforgettable characters. A must listen.

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Simply wonderful

Beautiful story, expertly written. The narration is superb. Rob Shapiro brings something magical to every book he narrates.

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  • Daisy Sweets
  • 15-06-22

Excellent and a Clean Read

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Historical fiction, True Crime, Adult Romance Rating: PG (crime scenes)

This was FANTASTIC! I loved every part of this book! I was enthralled from the get-go! It’s based on the Cleveland Torso Murders-back in the 1930’s. This book has everything I could want in a true crime fiction book. I loved how history was woven into the story and made me question if this was true or not. I had to look up a couple things just to get more details. There was a great deal of historical fiction that made the characters feel almost believable. I loved the little bit of “sixth sense” used to solve the crime. The romance was slow, reasonable, and kept clean and appropriate. This was the perfect book! A page turner and worthy to add to my bookshelf!

I listened to the audiobook, and the gentleman who read it was excellent!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Buzy_reading
  • 01-06-22

Historical murder mystery

It began in 1923, in the kitchen, two bodies in a pool of blood. Dani was ten years old when Officer Malone informed her that her parents were dead. The only comfort he could provide was a stuffed pink rabbit. Michael impacted Dani’s life from that very moment.
After two years Eliot Moss requested the help of Michael Malone to investigate a series of crimes believed to the work of The Butcher. It’s 1934 and the Butcher is leaving chopped up body parts in Kingsbury Run.

Dani lives with her aunts in Cleveland. They are tailors living and working from the same house. Lately,
It’s been fifteen years since Dani and Michael saw each other. Neither forgot the other. Now Michael finds himself living as the new boarder in the home she’s resided in after her parents died.

Amy gives readers a historical piece dating back to 1934 with an age-gap, slow burn romance. Dani with her unique abilities and Michael with his attention to detail Amy provided two key players in the murder mystery. For me the long chapters took some getting used to. I never realized how many books I’ve read where the chapters are shorter moving at a swift pace. I had to pause to enjoy the lengths of words from Amy’s beautiful writing voice. Michael and Dani made a great team. I appreciated Dani’s style of snooping. I treasured the funny witty banter between Dani and Michael. Amy is a fascinating writer. The words pop off the pages full of vivid imagery.
I want to shout from the roof tops that every reader must read An Unknown Beloved for it is a treat to have an exquisite writer at our finger tips.
Amy is blessed by word magic.

Amy Harmon is an enchanting storyteller. I’m absolutely mesmerized by her voice. Acquiring a performer such as Rob Shapiro really brought this time piece together. I was catapulted back to a time before I was born.

What a treat listening to Rob Shapiro play the part of Mike Malone. He’s the solo performer of this unabridged copy. I always enjoy a revisit with a book I’ve previously read. I listened at 1.9x speed using the audible app. Rob Shapiro captured this time piece with exceptional quality and class. I was transported to hard Cleveland times where the Flanagan women were scraping to make ends meet. Even though, I know the outcome of this story I love being able to focus on new things I overlooked before. The best way to experience The Unknown Beloved is with this exceptional audiobook.

I was concerned when I saw this was a historical read. I’m not particularly fond of reading time pieces dating back into the 30s. I need not fear anything when Amy is behind the pen. I found myself immersed in the characters lives that any mentioning of the period of time didn’t bog down the story the way I originally thought. Amy blended all the elements of crime, thriller, romance, and history together in a way that captured my attention.

Amy Harmon leaves pieces of herself in her books. My that I mean when a reader picks up a book written by Amy Harmon you will get a brilliant illustration from her words. Amy captures a beautiful image where the reader can watch a movie play out in there mind. At least it does for me.

Readers won’t find another book like this one. It’s an original piece carefully crafted by Amy. I don’t articulate words the same way Amy does. I wish I could write a review as profoundly as Amy wrote this book. Writing isn’t my strength. Hopefully another reader will stumble upon my review and find it within themselves to read Amy Harmon’s words.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Apz!
  • 20-04-22

Another Grand Slam

You just can't go wrong with Amy Harmon!! I am such a huge fan of her writing and this book is just another reminder of why I never hesitate to purchase her books.

I love how she intertwines historical people, places, and events with clever storytelling. I also love that she can write a romance novel that actually tells a story. So many romance authors tend to skip the story for steam. which is fine i suppose if thats your kick but for me I much prefer to have a storyline that has some teeth in it.

loved this story!
thanks for another great book!

18 people found this helpful

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  • Lisacampbellsoup
  • 01-06-22

Too long and not keen on narration

The premise of the story involving a serial killer in Cleveland during Eliot Ness' time was interesting to me, as well as the mingling of European and Irish cultures. However, I felt as though it dragged and was repetitive, and probably could have been told in about 10 hours instead of the almost 15.

The narration grated on me as well. Shapiro does not perform a female voice well at all... not quite 'nails on a chalkboard', but definitely close. His tone was also very flat throughout and there were times I thought about just giving up on it.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Sandy
  • 25-05-22

Very disappointing.

I have enjoyed other Amy Harmon books but this one was lacking. The premise was interesting and a time period that I thought I would enjoy. I did love how Eliot Ness was a character in the story and real life facts were woven into the storyline.

The disappointment for me was the unlikely love story that became the main focus of the book. Not enough attention was given to the crime and the pursuit of the killer. There were two characters that annoyed me right from the beginning of the book and their behavior became frustrating and hard to swallow.

I would have given up on the book early on but I wanted to finish it to see how the investigation went and who was guilty. But even the ending left me unsatisfied and disappointed.

10 people found this helpful

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  • celeste curley
  • 10-06-22

Very Interesting Story

This was a different and interesting book. I liked the characters and premise. The narration left a whole lot to be desired however. The narrater’s voice was pleasant enough but he paused significantly

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-22

c+ the story was weak

it was nice. ok. not enough spirit. Michael sounded like a father to her.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Nicole
  • 16-05-22

Good Story - Interesting Era

I've listened to a handful of Amy Harmon's books and I have to say I've been impressed with her ability to write about historical events intertwined with a beautiful love story. These were not my favorite love interests, they lacked the intensity that I had come to expect with her love stories, but they were interesting characters in an interesting time.

I wouldn't say I loved this book, it was a well written story with good narration. Rob Shapiro did an excellent job with voices but it was his cadence that seemed to throw everything off and I am not sure if this was why I didn't feel the intensity of the love interests. He read so slow this time and so many pauses between phrases that it really was annoying - his saving grace is his ability to differentiate character voices with subtlety that doesn't interfere with the story. Don't get me wrong, I love Rob Shapiro as a narrator, but his cadence was definitely off on this one.

5 people found this helpful

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  • E. J. W.
  • 10-06-22

Wonderful Story

It was very good book. I couldn't wait to get back to it every time I had to stop listening. Held my interest through the whole book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Melanie
  • 19-07-22

A great historical romance!

* 4.5 Stars *
Amy Harmon sucks me into all her books and this was no exception. This is the first historical fiction book I’ve read that took place during the Great Depression and I loved the Capone aspects. There were definite slow moments but the characters still kept me hooked and interested! Dani was an amazing main character, I surprisingly had no annoyances with it or even Michael. Michael was just surviving and doing what he could, but Dani had so much depth that it was awe inspiring… I loved that she gave names to all the unclaimed ‘beloved unknowns’.
Rob Shapiro did an amazing job narrating the story! I loved his voices for all the characters, even the females!

3 people found this helpful